Christopher Hill was a major British historian whose specializes in the history of the English Revolution of the seventeenth century. This history consists of a study of the transition from a full monarchical, feudal society towards a parliamentary government constitutional monarchy where power was shared between various sectors of society. Probably Hill’s best known work is The World Turned Upside Down, a book about the revolutionary movements of that period (including The Diggers, The Ranters, and The Levellers as well as Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army) although he had written over twenty other books, edited a number of volumes (including an anthology of Digger texts), textbooks, and books about subjects such as the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Liberty Against the Law is a book published well after Hill retired from academia in 1978. It is essentially a series of historical sketches of subversive activity in England during the seventeenth century. The book starts with discussions of issues and controversies surrounding things like the closing off of the commons and its effects on normal people, and the methods by which normal people may supplement the lacks in their life through the use of the forests and progress into brief historical discussions of groups of people who may be identified as subcultures or countercultures, such as pirates or vagabonds.
|Woodcut depicting the Diggers being forced off the common land they're cultivating|
|Woodcut depicting the Ranters|
|Woodcut depicting the Levellers' Putney Debates where the constitutional future of England was discussed.|